Welcome to this week’s edition of Mailbox Monday.
This month Mailbox Monday is being hosted on the dedicated blog for the meme. You can check that blog to see the complete tour schedule in the left hand sidebar.
Here is what arrived at my house this week:
Thanks to James Meader at Picador, I received an Advance Readers Edition of Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (due for release in the US in March 2012) which was a 2011 Finalist for the Man Booker Prize, won the 2011 Giller Prize, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. The novel opens in Berlin in 1939 where a young trumpet-player named Hieronymus, is arrested in a Paris cafe. The star musician was never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sidney Griffiths, the only witness that day, still refuses to speak of what he saw. When Chip Jones, his friend and fellow band member, comes to visit, recounting the discovery of a strange letter, Sid begins a slow journey towards redemption. Half-Blood Blues is described as “an electric, heart-breaking story about music, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art.”
Esi Edugyn has a Masters in Writing from Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best New American Voices 2003, ed. Joyce Carol Oates, and Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing (2006). Her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Edugyan has held fellowships in the US, Scotland, Iceland, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Spain and Belgium. She has taught creative writing at both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Victoria. She currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Read more about Edugyan and her work by visiting the author’s website.
Algonquin Books sent me a copy of Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchenby Donia Bijan as part of BOOK CLUB (discussion on this book will happen on Nicole’s blog on December 13th). Donia Bijan’s family fled to California’s Bay Area in 1978 when the Islamic revolution in Iran threatened their safety. Award-winning chef Donia Bijan’s memoir centers around her mother. Evoking a vibrant kaleidoscope of cultures and cuisines, she shares thirty inspired recipes from her childhood, her French training, and her cooking career.
Donia Bijan graduated from UC Berkeley and the Cordon Bleu in Paris. After presiding over a number of San Francisco acclaimed restaurants and earning awards for her French-inspired cuisine, she ran her own restaurant, L’Amie Donia, in Palo Alto for ten years. Since closing her restaurant in 2004, Bijan has divided her days between raising her son, catering, and writing her memoir. Learn more about Bijan and her work by visiting the author’s website.
Hyperion Voice sent me an Advance Readers Edition of Arcadia by Lauren Groff (due for release in March 2012). This from the publisher: “Arcadia is the romantic, lush, haunting story of the American Dream and of a gifted young man born into an idealistic community.” The novel takes place in the late 1960s in Western New York State where several dozen idealists set out to live off the land. Centered around a young boy – Ridley Sorrel Stone, known as “Little Bit – the story evolves over three generations as Little Bit grows into a man.
Lauren Groff was born in 1978 in Cooperstown, N.Y. She graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her short stories have appeared in a number of journals, including the New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, and Subtropics. She was awarded the Axton Fellowship in Fiction at the University of Louisville, and has had residencies and fellowships at Yaddo, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Ragdale. Groff’s first novel, The Monsters of Templeton (2008), was a New York Times and Booksense bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. Her second book, Delicate Edible Birds, is a collection of stories. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two sons. Read more about Groff and her work by visiting the author’s website.
Did any amazing books find their way into YOUR home this week?